31 March 2012
Our Lady of Fatima Parish Waikanae hosted a St Valentines Day Mass on the Tuesday February 14 for the Kapiti Pastoral Area with liturgy and music put together by members of both parishes.
Some 140 people attended, with equal representation from both parishes, as well as a small contingent from St Mary’s, Otaki. Mass was followed by coffee, beautifully prepared desert and wine provided by Waikanae parish.
There were many couples present with more than 40 and 50 years of marriage behind them, as well as recently married couples. The offertory was taken up by two widows, and one of them described attending as a thanksgiving for her years of marriage and made her feel emotional.
Fr Jim Kershaw was the celebrant and one parishioner described that fact as ‘the icing on the cake’. Fr Jim referred to his former state of matrimony and the celebration was on the eve of the anniversary of his wife’s death. Fr Jim talked about the need to work hard at fulfilling the vows we made to each other at our weddings throughout our lives together.
The organist was Mr Wes Brown from neighbouring St Luke’s Anglican Parish. The whole congregation was enthralled by his rendition at the beginning of Mass of the Trumpet Voluntary and then the recessional of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March had many rushing to congratulate him. For one couple this was the music at their wedding 44 years ago.
The liturgy was planned to involve volunteers from both parishes and Mass started with a procession of the cross bearer and readers, candle bearers and ministers of the Eucharist and the celebrant.
Two women placed bouquets of red and white flowers on each of the front corners of the altar to symbolise the bridesmaids in this Mass to celebrate marriage.
That it was a happy and holy Valentine’s day in a different way was borne out by the singing of the parts of the Mass and in the excited clamour over supper from happily combined parishes.
Earlier misgivings that this Mass would not gain enough local support with the main Eucharist in the cathedral occurring at the same time were quickly allayed by the turnout. We now know that many parishioners will support the archbishop’s initiative in the city by attending similar events in other archdiocesan pastoral areas. The profile of Marriage as a sacrament can only be enhanced as a result.